As picturesque as a faraway destination wedding, yet just a stone's throw from Maryland's Bay Bridge, The Chesapeake Bay Beach Club offers a variety of unique settings for a wedding celebration. The club was chosen as the locale for The Today Show's "Hometown Wedding" in 2005 and has since become one of the most popular venues in the greater Washington, D.C. area.
The Chesapeake Bay Beach Club offers four separate areas for weddings, each with its own appeal.
- The Beach House Ballroom:
This large, open ballroom was built expressly to take advantage of the stunning views of the Bay, featuring walls of windows, an expansive terrace with cozy rocking chairs and an inviting outdoor fireplace. The nearby private ceremony lawn and an adjacent indoor reception area with built-in bar, ideal for the cocktail hour, make the Beach House a very versatile event space depending on the needs of the client. The ballroom's ambiance is one of "beachy elegance," with warm hardwood floors throughout -- meaning the dance floor can be placed anywhere in the room -- and soaring ceilings.
- The Sunset Ballroom:
New England-inspired charm abounds in the club's original ballroom space, which features vaulted ceilings with recessed lighting and a large parquet dance floor in the center of the room for optimal views from all guest tables. In 2008, the club expanded the Sunset Ballroom to include the Garden Room, an adjacent space ideal for cocktail receptions and indoor ceremonies. The Garden Room is appointed with a custom coffered ceiling and dramatic indoor and outdoor fireplaces. An enormous canopied rooftop deck offers further flexibility for the usage of space, not to mention unparalleled views.
- The Tavern Ballroom:
Originally a fine dining restaurant, the Tavern Ballroom now offers an intimate atmosphere with character to spare, including a stone floor, rich wood accents and a large, pub-style bar. The beautifully landscaped Tavern Lawn is an ideal location for a wedding ceremony, after which guests may ascend the outdoor staircase for cocktails on the sprawling rooftop deck. A four-seasons fireplace and custom bar are two features everyone are sure to remember.
- The Tavern Bayside:
Truly a one-of-a-kind space for a rehearsal dinner, cocktail party or even a small, casual wedding, the Tavern Bayside directly overlooks the Chesapeake Bay. Built-in booths line the room, the centerpiece of which is a large wraparound bar. Virtually all of the Tavern Bayside's windows open, which not only enhance the views but also allow the warm bay breeze to circulate. The adjacent outdoor terrace (also used by the Beach House Ballroom) is a wonderful extension of the space, and a nearby game room called "The Players' Club" offers billiards, table tennis and more. The Tavern Bayside can be booked separately for events when there are no functions taking place in the larger Beach House Ballroom, and can also be booked in addition to the Beach House, making it a fun option for a cocktail hour.
The Chesapeake Bay Beach Club's expansive menus encompass all service styles -- attended action stations, sumptuous buffets and elegant seated dinners. Some of the most popular choices reflect the traditions of Maryland's Chesapeake Bay region, including jumbo lump crab cakes and bountiful raw bars. Classic options such Black Angus New York strip, Chilean sea bass, filet mignon, and seared rack of lamb can also be found on the menu.
Innovative menu accompaniments are also available for a truly memorable experience, including upscale "finger food" style hors d'oeuvres paired with local craft beers, and late-night "snacks" such as Kobe sliders, petite paninis and Boardwalk-style fries offered to departing wedding guests toward the end of the event.
Out-of-town guests have several choices of budget hotels nearby; for luxury accommodations, however, the nearest options are Easton's Tidewater Inn (close to 30 miles away), managed by the same company as the Beach Club itself, or the upscale hotels of downtown Annapolis (about 15 miles away via the Bay Bridge).
Due to heavy eastbound traffic from mid-April through mid-October, the Tidewater Inn or another Easton area property may be a better option, as wedding guests will be traveling the opposite direction to reach the Beach Club. Planners and brides should know that beach traffic heading east from Annapolis to Stevensville and beyond is a significant concern. For this reason, it is a very wise idea to alert guests to the need to allow extra travel time during these months!
A Planner's Experience
The Chesapeake Bay Beach Club could be called a planner's dream, for several reasons. The club itself is impeccably maintained, with the owners investing a great deal into continuous structural improvements that directly benefit their clientele. The quality of food and service is also extremely consistent -- the management and staff have truly perfected the art of weddings. Finally, while not inexpensive by any means, the club's wedding pricing is comparable to the high-end packages offered by venues in Annapolis, Washington, D.C. and Baltimore.